Friday, June 29, 2007

It Lives! No, Wait, It's Dead Again

Well, that didn't take long. While a few Democratic senators were pandering to their base about resuscitating the Fairness Doctrine to battle the mighty monster of conservative talk radio, the House just passed the Pence amendment, which hammers that one back into the crypt. (And with a hundred or so Democrat votes!)

The House jumped in because the Senate might have passed it, especially since they could have counted on Trent Lott's vote. Still, it would have been great fodder for discussion, and the Dems didn't want any discussion since the bias of the network news not to mention tax-supported NPR would have been highlighted.

Me, I'd love there to be more liberal radio. The problem is that Air America and many of the rest don't let conservative guests or callers on the air. The folks at RedState alone could clean their clocks every hour on the hour. I'd tune in for that, hell yeah. Ratings bonanza.

Good Show, Abbas

A commenter who signs Myron Pauli left this poignant, and pungent, ditty over at Ilana Mercer's blog. I thought we should afford it some space as well.

We love you Abbas .. oh yes we do
Though you hate every .. single Jew
You’re not in HAMAS .. that’s true
Oh Mahmoud, we love you

Deny the Holocaust .. who knew
When Fatah uses force .. boo hoo
We’ll pay your every cost .. what’s new
Oh Mahmoud, we love you

You teach your hatred .. in every school
But when you curse at us .. you do not drool
So now it’s our turn .. to play the fool
Oh Mahmoud, we love you

You wear a suit and tie .. you look so neat
And when you’re killing us .. you smile so sweet
And even should we face .. utter defeat
Oh Mahmoud, we love you

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Order, Not Faith

One of the more interesting subtexts of the 2008 presidential campaign has been Rudy Giuliani's popularity among religious conservatives. Given his stark pro-abortion views, his sympathy toward gay rights, and the "turbulence" of his private life, one might expect especially evangelicals to view his candidacy with skepticism.

Just to be clear, I've said before around here that under no circumstances would I vote for Giuliani given his very robust abortion rights stance. Others apparently disagree, at least as evidenced by the very warm reception he received at Pat Robertson's Regent College. Apparently, whatever other virtues Giuliani has outweigh in these folks' mind his clear disagreements with their putative claims. Of course, it's probably a mistake to expect some intellectual and moral consistency (not to mention integrity) from Pat Robertson, but if the polls are right, some significant portion of religious conservatives are willing to forbear on their movement's signature issues. Why?

There are, I think, two answers. First is the War on Terror. They think he'd be the best guy on that set of issues. More broadly, though, it suggests that at least some portion of what's termed the Christian Right is as much concerned about what we might call "social order" as it is about "social issues". Here's what I mean. Giuliani seems to me to be running essentially on two things: a promise to fight successfully against the Islamists and a promise to help "clean up" (my phrase, not his) the nation in the same way that he helped clean up NYC. Conservative Protestants were mobilized into politics in the 1970s much more by what they saw as threats to the moral and social order than by the specific issues of abortion and gay rights. (The SBC didn't affirm a pro-life view until, if I'm not mistaken, 1979, for example.) The disorder of the late 1960s and 1970s was unleashed by the sexual revolution and social permissiveness of the era and the "Christian Right" hoped to reverse those. (Hence the term "Moral Majority.") Giuliani appeals to them, I'm hypothesizing, on the grounds that he is promising "order," and at least some of them are buying.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cameron the Moron

Well, now, it appears that Cameron Diaz, Hollywood airhead, or airhead even by Hollywood standards, showed up in Peru the other day with a handbad inscribed with a red star and the brilliant adage "Serve the People," served up awhile back by the brilliant mind of Mao. Tens of thousands of Peruvians, of course, were killed by the Shining Path Maoists during the 80s and 90s, and so Maoism is not high on the latest fashion trends in Lima. So our beloved Cameron has apologized for giving inadvertent offense, and blah blah blah.

Put aside the Shining Path; has Cameron never heard of the 100 million or so Chinese killed as a direct result of Mao's policies? Maybe she has, but those poor souls are gone, and so why not be trendy? Or maybe she has not; can she possibly be that much of a moron? Only her hairdresser knows for sure. Well, actually, so do we all. By the way, she is an expert as well on global climate models.

Obama on Christian Materialism

Since we major in the interface between political philosophy and religion around here, it seems proper to announce that I'm about sick of Barack Obama. That didn't take long.

If it is inevitable that our next president be a Democrat, I figgered we could do worse. The center of the party has largely collapsed anyway, so at least Obama was statesmanlike and came off like he wanted to be everybody's president including mine.

False alarm. He hit the Daily Double the other day, going into a church for political purposes and excoriating the opposition for doing the same. Make it a trifecta---he used the word "hijacked," as in, hmmm, who else has "hijacked" a religion for nefarious purposes...?


The message was the same old stuff, that Jesus preached charity for the poor, which to a lefty means more programs and higher taxes. He charged that the Christian Coalition made tax cuts its priority at one point (a legitimate criticism, I suppose, if true---is it?), but in doing so, proved that for collectivists, tax increases are good in their own right, a moral imperative.

Raise taxes, for what? To increase tax revenues? To give more to the poor? What if tax increases and indiscriminate charity are counterproductive?

Doesn't matter. Simply doesn't matter. Christianity's purpose is the same as the secular Enlightenment's and world leftism's and the Democratic Party's---the "relief of man's estate." Raising taxes is your way of showing your virtue.


And there was the usual noise about abortion and stuff, as if the GOP uses my religion to exploit me for my vote. But I don't need a church to tell me there's something morally questionable about disposing of human life out of convenience or using it for spare parts.

Christians heard the Beatitudes. Religious types give more to charity than more secular folks. Christians also heard Christ when He said that His Kingdom is not of this world. Democrats still ask us to vote as if that Kingdom doesn't exist, as if Jesus was all about the relief of man's estate. In fact, He was anything but. If Jesus was all about relieving man's estate, He would have sat there all day cranking out loaves and fishes.

By emphasizing material concerns to the exclusion of the other important things, Sen. Obama is just as dull as the rich men in the Bible. They just don't get it.

Truth, Sir, is a cow that will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.---Boswell: Life of Johnson


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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Symbols have consequences

It is too easy to go after someone like Cameron Diaz, but not every post should be challenging, right? It seems that on a recent visit to Peru Ms. Diaz's accessories caused a bit of stir. Her handbag boasted a Red Chinese star and Mao's famous dictum written in Chinese, "Serve the People."

Apparently, the global-consciousness-raising star didn't know that the Maoist Shining Path terrorists wreaked havoc on the country not so long ago, killing tens of thousands. Pablo Rojas, a Peruvian human rights activist, aims for an understatement award when he says, "I don't think she should have used that bag where the followers of that ideology did so much damage."

Perhaps this is a rare instance where some sensitivity training could do some good . . .

UPDATE: Diaz has now apologized.